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Slightly larger tire on '13 Sonata


Just want some opinions regarding a slightly larger tire for my '13 Sonata.

OEM size is 205/65-16. The OEM tires, which are horrible, are about gone at 23K miles. I’m partial to Michelins, but the 2 tires they have in the OEM size (Primacy and Energy Saver) are phased out, and they don’t make any others in that size.

If I stick with Michelin, I’ll have to go 215/60-16 or 215/65-16. The 215/60’s are slightly smaller in diameter, and I don’t want to decrease my clearance as I have had a little body/chassis rub when pulling out of some curb cuts. The 215/65-16s are 0.5 inches larger in diameter in addition to being 10 mm wider, so I should have 1/4-inch greater clearance.

I had a friend hold my steering all the way left and right, and there’s plenty of room up front for the larger tire, and I’m thinking 0.25 inch less clearance between rear wheel/fender won’t be significant (doesn’t look like it will).

I’ve also read that increasing the diameter requires more torque to move initially, so there will be a slight effective loss in horsepower. FWIW, according to the websites for Michelin and my stock tire, the larger Michelins are actually 0.1 lbs. lighter than the stock tire, so hopefully any power loss would be minimized.

According to a tire size comparison calculator I found online, the 215/65-16s will be 1.9% greater in diameter, 4.8% wider, 1.9% greater in circumference, and revolutions/mile will decrease 1.9%.

Should I go with the slightly larger Michelins, or keep the OEM size in another brand?

Thanks for any replies.

I’d go for it.

You stock rims can easily handle an extra 10mm, and you’ve done due diligence on the clearance issues. It will help your ground clearance, and I doubt you’ll ever notice the effective higher gearing.

TireRack still shows the Michelin Energy and Primacy available for your car in your size. Who told you they were not available?

The guys at a couple of retailers have said it’s difficult to get them. One said it could take a week or two; the other claimed they couldn’t get them. I figured they were telling the truth because the other tires they recommended weren’t in stock either, and they weren’t high pressure in any way.

My wife drives the car now and then, and I don’t know how, but she has a knack for shredding tires. I have a slight concern about needing a new tire a year from now and the Primacy being completely out of stock. I have considered buying 5 of them, not mounting one, and just storing it.

I smell BS. I’d call tirerack, ask about availability, and find out which shop in your area they deal with. They’ll ship the tires to that shop and you can go there to install them.

If you don’t want to do that, buy another brand tire in your correct size. You can check tirerack for tests and reviews. No worries then.

use some common sense, you should clearly buy 8 tires because it is possible that you blow out all 4 at once and you won’t have access to new rubber immediately.

sometimes you can overthink things. tires are available, every day of the week. when you need them, just go purchase them. it doesn’t have to be more complex than that.

rock on. Sonata is a standard car, your tires are always available, considering worrying about something else.

I agree with texases that TireRack is a valuable resource to check before buying tires. I have usually bought tires locally, but I bought winter tires from TireRack mounted on steel rims and shipped to my workplace, and also locally unavailable tires from TireRack shipped to my local mechanic (after getting his OK) for him to mount.

If you were to need to replace one tire some time in the future, I believe TireRack would be more likely than anyone to have it in stock, or be able to locate it quickly, and ship it to you.

Yeah, call me crazy. I contacted Michelin directly, and they said the Primacy and Energy Savers are phased out with only existing stock left. I ran into a situation several years ago where my wife got a tire off the shoulder and blew out the sidewall. They didn’t make that tire anymore, but the others still had a lot of tread left. I got something close but never did like the ride afterward.

So buy a different brand.

Tire rack is great. Good prices and good customer service. Michelins are one of the best, but other brands are good out there as well.

What you need to pay attention to is the treadware rating. A harder tire will last much much longer, but can be noisier and a little less smooth of a ride.

I’d stick with OEM size. Thats what the cars designed for, your brakes are designed for, and your speedometer is calibrated for.

Thanks for all the replies. I went with Continentals in the OEM size.

Just an FYI for the guys who populate this web site:

gh1138 posted a version of the same question at another web site a few days before she posted here. When she posted here, I wondered what sort of response she would get. I find it interesting that she decided to stay with the original tire size.

“I contacted Michelin directly, and they said the Primacy and Energy Savers are phased out with only existing stock left”

Michelin is phasing-out a few of their tire models, and replacing them with the superior Defender model, so I think the likelihood is that the OP’s tire size is available in the Michelin Defender model.

I realize that this comment is a bit late, as he/she already bought Continental tires, but in case anyone else runs into a similar situation, it is worthwhile to ask which tire models have superseded Michelin’s discontinued models. Michelin is not about to forgo business by failure to manufacture a tire to fit a car like a Sonata–which sells in very high numbers.

I don’t know if the phasing out has anything to do with the tire being BETTER. Most of the time it’s marketing…to entice people to buy a new product. Companies do it all the time.

I wish the Defender was available in my OEM size. (They don’t list them on the Michelin website.) The Continentals I went with are OK, but after a few hundred miles, I’m not thrilled. But it’s still too early to tell.

I had Michelin Energy’s on a previous Sonata, and they were the smoothest tires I ever had. Of course, that was a previous generation, so not exactly apples to apples.

Not sure how to take CapriRacer’s comments about posting on the other website. I wasn’t getting a lot of responses there originally, so I went here as well. I appreciate the responses on both sites, and I apologize if I offended her.

I’m glad I went with the OEM size. Once on the car, they seem larger than the original tires. I’m not sure how much difference there is in diameter between a new tire and a worn tire in the same size, but at least visually, I’m glad I didn’t go with the slightly larger 215/65-16, although at a later point I may wish I had from a ride/handling aspect.

Thanks again!

I tried to get a set of Michelin Defenders in that size 6 months ago and found out they don’t make them in that size for my Toyota Camry. Seems odd that Michelin doesn’t make tires for such popular cars.

Yeah, the tire guys said they were having trouble with Michelin’s in that size on Sonata’s, Camry’s, and I think they also said Altima’s. Seems strange to me too.

I’m not sure how many Sonata’s are out there nationwide, but I would guess there are tons of Camry’s and Altima’s. Of course, my Sonata is a base model. Maybe the higher trim packages have different tires which are more popular.